Monday, April 30, 2007

April 30

Best of intentions. Time to get back on track.

This past weekend's obedience trial was a train wreck. Start again. Look at the holes. Embrace them.

This AM before breakfast, grabbed chicken and I trained...

Jump to 6 weaves where the he had to go behind the jump and it presented an entrance to the weaves at about 4 or 5 o'clock. He struggles with the weave entrances, but ended up with 3 successful trials. (Bar down on one of them.)

2-on, 2-off on teeter. He's getting it. Still using target. Need to start fading it to make sure understanding is clear.

Did some casual sit stays during the day

Monday agility class: Good dogs. Serpentines were good. Tango is looking for the target at the end of the teeter. Damn. Need to fade that target now. No weaves in class. The table is a bit sticky. He gets there and is casual about laying down. Dancer was really good. Bars stayed up for both dogs. Tango did knock bars if I got too far from him laterally. Need to watch that. Keep the connection and keep close (for now).

Strung them together: crate, teeter, jump, weaves. Beautiful.

Sunday, March 25, 2007

Saturday 3/24/07

Lazy day. Whoops.

I did, however, take both dogs out individually to learn how to pull the scooter. Have some issues. The line I'm using is really short, so the scooter sneaks up on them and that scares both of us. I tried tossing the treat in front of them to encourage them to move forward. that works, but then they both turn back to me to get the next treat. Had some success, again in front of the church, in actually pulling the scooter.

That's all I worked on. No conditioning; no training.

Stuff 3/23/07 : Friday

Took Tango down to Stacy's. Worked on a single line of jumps and just focusing on drive and motivation. Obvious that my placement of reward sucks. Talked about how my miscommunication makes him confused and lowers his drive. (On the positive side, I got some great drive when we did it right.)

I ended up completely exhausted. Back sore from tugging so much. Need to get stronger and build MY endurance. Could try some different tug toys with bungees to make it easier.

Also took both dogs out for a brief skate. don't remember.

Thursday, March 22, 2007

Conditioning 3/22/2007

Training for blades:
Did some training today on "pulling". Put on both harnesses, in LR, tossed treats and encouraged the dogs to pull to get the treat. As expected, Dancer understood. Tango stopped when he felt resistance. He figured it out.

This afternoon, gorgeous day, took Tango out by himself, me on blades, with bait bag. Tossed treats to encourage him to move in front of me. Once we got to Lowell, he started slow running independently. did pretty well, stopped at end of church and went back.

Grabbed Dancer to do both dogs. Tango got it. Dancer and Tango both pulled me lightly around Lowell. Once they got near the corner of Lowell, they turned it on. Went so fast I got scared--pulled them up at the whole in the wall beause I was afraid one would turn in and disaster would happen.

They pulled lightly for a bit, then both kind of gave up near the end of the church. We ran back home, but Dancer was just looking for cookies. Tango actually loped all the way home.

Both dogs panting and tired.


Training 3/22/2007

Sit stay: Target 30 seconds with me staring at them. Tango did ok, but started looking around. Dancer laid down after 20 seconds--offering new behavior, not avoiding current one. Did a second attempt at 20 seconds. Tango was fine, Dancer tried to lay down so I went back and "fixed" it. Weird, Dancer the one that doesn't get it?

Conformation Class:
Tango did much better than I expected. We just need to keep going to class. The "back" helps quite a bit because when I back him a step or two, his front feet do better. Gaiting around is gorgeous; up and back needs work. Table needs practice, but wasn't bad. Free stack after gaiting needs better expression. Try rewarding lots after.


Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Training 3/21/2007

Tonight, obedience class. First class of the 10 week session. Dancer did the Novice class. Tango kind of did the manners class.

Dancer looked very energetic. Never slowed down all class (is the conditioning working?) Heeling was good, but still having issues with lefts. Her downs while heeling were awful. Stand for exam: flawless. Recalls beautiful. She laid down during the long sits (second session of long sits).

I gave up on the class with Tango--it was too slow. Went to the tennis courts to work. Tango was really ready to work at the beginning. Offering anything. Lots of quick reps of downs, sits, stands, etc. heeling was beautiful. Recalls were fast. Very nice work, but a bit too energetic sometimes. He did nice recalls, off leash, in the tennis court while Legs was working too. Good dog. Did stands for exams. He moved a bit the first one, but did better on the 2nd, 3rd, and was really good on the 4th.

Noticed after about 30 minutes I was losing him. Stopped training after 45 minutes and went home. Not a bad evening for him. He was really thirsty when he got home.


Conditioning 3/21/2007

Roller blading. Not too long, probably less than 10 minutes.

Dancer: Went around block, she remembered it was fun. Finally ran, and pulled me, on the long stretch in front of the church.
Tango: Found the entire experience distasteful. Afraid of me on wheels. Trailed behind me wearing a pulling harness that I can't pull him forward on. Did ok when he actually ran next to me and in front. On the long stretch, he did pull. Took him around block and around park to home.

Dancer & Tango together: Dancer still did well. Tango did better when he worked with Dancer, but he still didn't like it. Just went around the block and then down half the long stretch, then turned around and went home.

Both dogs breathing hard. Fun for me. Not so much for them. We'll keep at this a bit and see if they start to enjoy it. At least we got some running in.


Conditioning Corgis

It became obvious recently that my corgis aren't in good enough shape. They tire too easily to do the fun performance events like agility and herding.

Here's a list of activities to help in conditioning. I'll sort them by something.

I want to make this blog my training journal. For now, lets just make a goal of doing some sort of physical conditioning every single day and put an entry on this blog of what we did.

Very effective:
- Herding. Although they don't spend much time in the pen with the sheep, they are running the whole time. (At least they are now. When we learn how to herd rather than chase this may change.)

Ideas for activities:
- Puppy Ping Pong at the park. Really good running for Dancer, Tango gives up after awhile. Requires 2 people to be effective.
- Recalls at the park. Works really well, but lots of down time while I walk to the other end of the park. Both dogs will run when called. Dancer runs faster. When I do both dogs, Tango is more interested in running after Dancer so he doesn't run as fast as he can.
- Playing tennis ball at the tennis courts. Works pretty well. Currently, Tango gets tired and gives up after about 7 minutes. Not as much fun as chasing sheep :)
- Running with me. Hmmm, well, that does require me to actually run too. Kinda sucks. Of course, if I started with a run/walk a couple of days a week, we'd both slowly improve our fitness. Of course, he should be able to run faster than I do, so this will never get him running as fast as he can.
- Jump chutes. Can be done in the yard, in the hallway or at the park. This is an interesting one. Kind of combined training and conditioning work. Shouldn't do this too often because the jumping can be hard on the joints. (Nice thing to do in bad weather, however.)
- Long hikes with lots of hills--like at my favorite wilderness park. This is a good one to do for all of us. Should add this to my repertoire for weekend activities.
- Roller skating: I used to do this with Dancer and tried to do it with both dogs. It is a bit scary because if I fall... Maybe a way to start training on the Dirt Dawg.

Other things I could do with more training or additional equipment
- Bicycle on the river trail. That would work, but I'd really need a safer bike for it. Also, I wouldn't do it with Dancer because she'd chase after other bikes.
- Scootering. This could be brilliant--particularly for Tango. I have a Dirt Dawg scooter. he has a custom harness that I think fits him well. Need to train him to pull. Would probably have to do it on the river trail so we'd have long, straight distances.

Other things that I'm not going to do for various reasons:
- Treadmill. I don't have a treadmill, so i'd have to buy one. Don't really want another piece of exercise equipment hanging around.
- Swimming. Don't have access to a facility for swimming.

Not very effective--don't put them on the list of things to do.
- long walks with Charlie--he strolls and they need running
- agility class -- not enough sustained running
- obedience class -- lots of heeling, but not much running
- Tennis ball in the house or even the back yard. Doesn't last long enough. The hall isn't really long enough. We all get too bored.


Tuesday, February 07, 2006

Tango Shaping tunnels and jump chutes

Watch the video

This is Tango learning how to go through a tunnel and jump a series of two jumps independently using shaping.


Testing VLogs

Tango is now well on his way to a solid foundation in agility. I've attached a video showing us shaping a tunnel and a couple of jumps. Yeah, yeah, I know I'm cuing the tunnel with my body, but nobody's perfect.

This probably isn't the best example of shaping since Tango already knows about tunnels and jumping, but I before loading more vlogs of my training, I wanted to test using blip.

Wednesday, December 08, 2004

A Tale of Two Tails

This blog is for me to track my training and experiences in living with my two Cardigan Welsh Corgis: Dancer and Tango.

When I first created this blog, I thought I'd post a history of both dogs and what we've done so far. Forget it. If I wait to write their histories, I'll never start writing. So we'll begin in the middle.

Dancer competes in agility. That is, she used to. When I started feeding her raw, she ballooned up in weight. I don't want to compete with her until I get her weight down--too much risk. Current weight: 31 pounds. Ideal weight: 25 pounds.

Tango is a conformation dog now, but will move on to agility (and other performance sports) after he finishes. He too is a bit chubby right now. He weighs in at about 35 pounds, which would be ok if he had more muscle. My goal for him is to keep him around this weight, but put on some muscle.

Do I see a pattern?

This blog will track my experiences getting them both in better condition and all the stuff that goes with it.